Concerned about possible concussion symptoms? Read on to learn more about this distressing injury, and if you or someone you know has recently experienced a head or neck injury, schedule a consultation with Dr. Fowler of Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA.
What is a Concussion?
Also called a traumatic brain injury, a concussion is typically the result of a blow, bump, or jolt to the head that causes the brain to bounce back and forth or twist inside the skull. Although concussions usually aren't life-threatening, the sudden movement can have dangerous consequences and severe long-term effects because it raises the risk of damaging brain cells and creating chemical changes. The outcome is a temporary, or in some cases, persistent, disturbance of healthy brain function.
What are the Symptoms?
Observation is critical during the first 24-48 hours after injury. Concussion symptoms can negatively influence school, work, and social life, which is why patients must seek medical attention immediately. Following a concussion, the victim should visit our Winchester, VA, Concussion Clinic if they notice:
- Emotional - Increased irritability or changes in mood, behavior, personality, nervousness, and anxiety
- Cognitive - Confusion, difficulty concentrating or remembering, foggy or hazy feeling inside the head, disorientation
- Physical - Headache or increased pressure in the head, vision problems, numbness/tingling, extreme fatigue, nausea, and vomiting
If you or a loved one is questioning the severity of the trauma, visit our Winchester Neurological Consultants as soon as possible. Dr. Fowler can accurately assess the signs, determine a diagnosis, develop a customized treatment plan, and make any necessary accommodations.
How Do Doctors Diagnose and Treat Concussions?
To accurately diagnose a concussion, Dr. Fowler will ask questions about how you acquired the injury, what happened afterward, and the symptoms you're experiencing. He may also order additional testing such as an MRI or CT scan of the brain, if necessary, to detect bleeding or swelling. If a concussion is confirmed once all tests are complete, treatment will depend on the level of severity. However, conventional methods include over-the-counter pain relievers, and lots of mental rest that include refraining from technology, cell phone use, video games, and television.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
You don't have to be an athlete to acquire a concussion. If you or a loved one has experienced head or neck trauma from an automobile accident or bad fall, consult with the concussion care team at Winchester Neurological Consultants. Dr. Fowler can perform a proper evaluation and discuss treatment options for children as well as adults. For more information about our Concussion Clinic, the other conditions we treat, or the services we provide, visit our website. For appointment scheduling at our Winchester office, please call (540) 667-1828.
Do you suffer from throbbing headaches preceded by visual problems, nausea, or vomiting? These symptoms often indicate a migraine, a debilitating headache of somewhat mysterious origins. At Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, our team of five board-certified neurologists listen to headache patients and take their problems seriously. Read on to learn some steps you can take to relieve your migraine symptoms.
What is a migraine?
Usually focused in one area of the head, a painful migraine throbs, sickens the stomach, and disturbs vision. Many people also say they see flashing lights, spots, or zig-zag lines before a migraine begins. Neurologists call these precursory signs an "aura."Additionally, some migraines are so intense they make people lose time from work and school as well as interrupt family life.
More women than men experience migraines, indicates the MRF, to a staggering ratio of 8.5 women to 1 man. Some researchers believe that the hormonal fluctuations associated with the child-bearing years make women more prone to migraines. Additionally, there seems to be a hereditary component. In other words, migraines run in families.
Key to successful management of your migraines is the identification of specific triggers. For instance, some people notice their migraines develop after eating certain foods, such as chocolate or cheese. Others experience these headaches after being touched or seeing bright and/or flashing lights. If you can control these triggers, you may limit the number of migraine episodes you have, along with their severity.
Additional migraine treatment strategies offered by our Winchester office include:
- Medications such as beta-blockers, anti-depressants, and anti-seizure drugs
- Sitting in a dark room, avoiding light and motion
- Massage therapy
- Injections of BOTOX, a refined form of the botulism toxin which restricts the movement of muscles in the face, scalp and jaw
- Getting regular and adequate sleep
- Reducing stress
- Losing weight if you are obese
Fewer migraine days
It can happen when you and your neurologist work together on a customized care plan. Please contact Winchester Neurological Consultants for a consultation in our migraine clinic: (540) 667-1828.
The Concussion Clinic of Winchester Neurological Consultants can help with sports concussions. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head causing the brain to move back and forth rapidly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The jolt to the brain results in chemical changes in the brain which may damage brain cells.
Concussions have a serious effect on a person's health. They're also not easy to diagnose even though they're common even if there's a cut or bruise on your head. In a nutshell, concussions are unseen and signs may take days or weeks to manifest.
Symptoms of a concussion may include:
- feeling dazed
- slurred speech
- balance problems
- blurred vision
- sensitivity to light and noise
- ringing in ears
- behavior or personality changes
- difficulty concentration
- memory loss
The Concussion Care team at Winchester is multidisciplinary. The team consists of athletic trainers at the school level, referrals by a primary care physician and our own Dr. Fowler.
The clinical experts are trusted resources if you want to learn about any of the following:
- Neurological Assessment. This is a review of medical and neurological history, neurological examination, neuro-imaging review, vestibular/balance and cognitive testing
- Baseline ImPACT testing and consultation by someone with credentials from ImPACT
- Post-injury evaluation and coping-mechanism recommendations
- Vestibular rehabilitation
- Assisting students on their path to recovery after a sports injury
- Cognitive testing including ImPACT testing
- Neurotrax testing
- Referrals to neuropsychologists for cognitive evaluations
If you would like to read more about concussions, you can visit the following websites:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- CDC Heads Up/Concussion information
- AAN Concussion Toolkit
- Concussion Quickcheck
If you have any questions or concerns regarding concussions and would like to speak with your doctor in Winchester, VA, then don't hesitate to contact Winchester Neurological Consultants today.
Here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, Dr. Mariecken Fowler operates the Memory Care Clinic. She completed a fellowship in Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology at the University of Virginia, and now provides comprehensive assessments of cognitive complaints at our clinic.
During appointments, she evaluates the root of memory issues, which could be a result of medical issues, medications, sleep disorders, mood disorders, or neurological diseases. These evaluations may also entail the use of a variety of tests to figure out your memory problem, including neuroimaging (MRIs and CT scans), neuropsychological testing, sleep studies (polysomnogram), and screening tests for mood disorders. These tests help Dr. Fowler determine the problem and find ways to optimize daily functioning.
A memory disorder like Dementia is sometimes confusing to patients and families, which is why your doctor aims to simplify and educate patients. She diagnoses different disorders (e.g. Alzheimer ’s disease, Vascular Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia, etc.) explains what they are, and discusses treatment options. In follow-up appointments, she can also assist patients in setting expectations for future needs, monitor the disease progression, and provide guidance on both medication options and local resources.
There are many other ways to learn more about different memory problems and diseases. If you want more information about services supporting patients, here are a few links to follow:
- Alzheimer’s Association
- Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
- The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration
- Virginia Division for Aging
- Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging
- West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services
- West Virginia Partnership for Elder Living
- Community Reviews about Care Centers
The memory clinic in Winchester, VA, is an excellent resource for people suffering from memory issues. Dr. Mariecken Fowler provides patients and their families with tests, education, and treatment options. If you'd like to learn more from Winchester Neurological Consultants, call us at (540) 667-1828 today!
How your doctors in Winchester, VA, can help you
Occasional snoring can be a common occurrence, but if you have been told that you snore loudly every night, it could be a sign of something more serious—sleep apnea. Truthfully, sleep apnea is a serious condition that can seriously shorten your life, necessitating prompt treatment from the experts. Fortunately, the doctors here at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, offer a wide range of medical services, including several treatment options to manage your sleep apnea.
More about Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is caused by the tissue at the back of your throat relaxing while you sleep. The relaxed tissue blocks your airway, resulting in a lack of oxygen to your vital organs, including your brain. When your vital organs don’t receive enough oxygen, it can increase your risk of having a stroke, experiencing a heart attack, developing Alzheimer’s disease, and acquiring a number of other serious medical problems.
When you have sleep apnea, you will typically experience:
- Morning headaches
- Suddenly waking up gasping or choking
- Waking up with a sore throat
- Daytime sleepiness or grogginess
If you think that you may have sleep apnea, you should undergo diagnostic screening and testing from the doctors here at Winchester Neurological Consultants. They will determine how severe your sleep apnea is, and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that may include one of the following treatment options:
- An oral mandibular advancement appliance, which is a custom-made dental appliance you wear as you sleep; the appliance moves your lower jaw forward, maintaining an open airway throughout the night. The oral appliance is easy to wear, easy to maintain, and it is small and highly portable.
- A continuous positive air pressure device known as a CPAP, which is the most common treatment for sleep apnea; the device contains a mask that fits over your nose and mouth. The mask connects to tubing which is attached to a machine that supplies a continuous flow of air as you sleep. The CPAP is easy to clean and portable.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
Sleep apnea is serious, and requires the services of a professional. To learn more about sleep apnea and how your doctors can help, call the doctors at Winchester Neurological Consultants in Winchester, VA, today by dialing (540) 667-1828.
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